In times of great uncertainty (as today, with lockdowns continuing to be enforced across the globe), knowing which specific herbs, weeds, flowers, trees, vegetables, and fruit support milk supply can build our confidence in our ability to nurture the next generation.

With this in mind, I wrote the book A Mother’s Garden of Galactagogues: a Guide to Growing and Using Milk-Boosting Herbs and Foods from around the world.

Lactation-boosting plants are the “living medicine” of women’s ancient heritage, stretching all the way back to the pre-history of humankind. Many families are starting to garden, indoors and outdoors, in large and small spaces, in containers, and on countertops. This is your opportunity to re-connect with women’s ancient knowledge.

Breastfeeding is natural, but in the West, we have taken the natural out of breastfeeding by asserting that a woman’s body should function like a machine, independent of what we eat, and in spite of thousands of years of lactation-diets used around the world.

Many mothers have experienced that after receiving the guidance of a lactation consultant, a lactogenic diet helps them reach their optimal supply. Many testimonies and stories are found in the reviews for Jacobson’s book Mother Food, on amazon.com

The fact is that women have been using lactogenic food and herbs since time immemorial. Our Paleolithic foremothers discerned which plants most potently supported their milk supply and they relied on this support through times of drought and food scarcity. Breastfeeding–but also the plants that support lactation–ensured the survival of our species.

We in the West once had this knowledge, too. Sadly, it was lost after the fall of Rome in the epoch known as the Dark Ages, when medical and herbal know-how came under the jurisdiction of the Church. Women’s herbs were generally considered to be evil and were associated with witchcraft and magic, including the herbs for lactation. They were made illegal, and an attempt was made to erase them from memory.

Later, as medical schools formed in Europe, the medical profession would be practiced by men who had no first-hand experience with lactation. They were puzzled by breastfeeding difficulties but did not study the use of herbs, which were still associated with witchcraft.

As we entered modern times, medicine remained a man’s profession and the use of lactogenic herbs and foods–though used to promote milk production in dairy cattle–was dismissed as being irrelevant for women.

My recently published book helps us remember what we once knew, for instance, that common weeds such as purslane and dandelions are used to boost milk supply, as are many other plants that grow in our gardens, yards, fields, meadows, and forests.

We learn as well about studies from China, India, Iraq, Iran, and Jordan, that show how these plants actually build the mammary tissue. 

In times of great uncertainty (as today, with lockdowns continuing to be enforced across the globe), knowing which specific herbs, weeds, flowers, trees, vegetables, and fruit support milk supply can build our confidence in our ability to nurture the next generation.

With this hope in mind, I wrote the book A Mother’s Garden of Galactagogues: a Guide to Growing and Using Milk-Boosting Herbs and Foods from around the world.